How to socialize puppy in winter with shy owner - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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How to socialize puppy in winter with shy owner

Hello all, I have another question, this time about socialization.
I know it's very important to socialize a puppy as much as possible for the first 2 months but my question and issue is how? My fiancť and I are very shy loner types. I personally have agoraphobia and panic disorder which is why I am getting a dog, to help bring me out of my shell a little bit and feel safer at home. The problem is I donít have any friends to bring around the dog or people to come ot the house to see it. I can try and go out of my way to find people but I donít think it will be very easy. It looks like we will be getting a puppy in December so it will be very cold and crappy out. Not many people around. How do I go about socializing? We have 1 pet store and a 1 feed store that dogs are allowed in but thatís it. I donít have family near but my fiancťís grandmother lives 40 minutes away so we can probably take the puppy to socialize there with his family a few times when they have a get together. The problem there is that they have very rowdy ill-behaved dogs that were never taught any manners. I donít want the puppy to learn bad things. We can also probably drive an hour away to the bigger city that has petco and petsmart but I really donít know what else to do. Should I just stand outside of walmart with the dog and have people pet it?
Any advice on how to socialize a puppy in winter and when Iím shy would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 06:12 PM
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Where do you live generally? If the people here know the approximate area they may be able to recomend dog parks and other places!


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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I live near Marinette, WI.

I also forgot to add that I will be taking the puppy to puppy classes but aside from that I'm not sure what else there is that I can do.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 06:18 PM
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You can walk around in front of Walmart or take your pup to the local school during after school games and walk him around then. Basically, bundle up and get out walking. It's not even so much having people pet him, as him getting out and seeing new and different things. Toss him in the car every time you go for errands or go to the drive thru.

Don't let him near your family's ill-mannered dogs as it could mentally damage him. He needs safe, friendly dogs to meet to ensure he has a positive experience. It's better to not interact with other dogs and just walk by them minding your own business, than interact with dogs that aren't good for your pup.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 06:39 PM
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Just wanted to say that kudos for making the effort to take your puppy out and about even though it is hard for you. I can relate since I live out in the boonies, half an hour from town, in Northern BC where the winters days are very, very short, and the temps can be brutal. I have Asperger's syndrome, so not really social and outgoing, and tend to want to isolate myself, but like you, made the effort early on with both my rescue, then my new dog, to take them out and give them as many new experiences as I could think of.

You can walk your pup around malls, construction sites, down busy streets. For me, just driving out to a residential area and having leash walks around cars, city buses, other people walking their dogs, etc, was something new and different. I've taken my guys to a local ski hill to watch the skiers zoom down the hills (and getting lots of attention and petting too!), walked in a hockey arena to watch hockey practice (be aware that this is LOUD!!), regular outings to a horse club to walk around the paddocks and be exposed to horses, etc.

Lots and lots of ideas here:
https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ocialized.html

And as Elaine has said, your pup does not need to get petted by everyone, just going out and about what I refer to as "the real word" has a lot of benefits.

Lucia


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 06:42 PM
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I agree with Elaine if you just go out somewhere public (which may be an issue for you but take it at your pace) and do not worry about being a social butterfly. If there is one thing I have learned since bringing home my boy last weeks its that NO MATTER WHERE you go....EVERYONE is interested in a GSD pup! Most people have the courtesy to ask if it is alright to pet. I am telling you this because I have PTSD and being in public and having people just come up to me is one thing that triggers my panic attacks so you have to mentally prepare for this type of interaction. But for the most part so far, it has been great for my dog as well as for me, I go outside in public place more often. BEST of Luck!!


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 06:51 PM
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All of your ideas are good ones. You might want to join an obedience training club or GSD club just for a place to go with other dogs that are likely more well trained than your family's. You can bring your pup on field trips to the vet's office about once a week or so- I did that with Stosh. We practiced sitting quietly in the waiting room, the techs put him off and on the table, the vet looked in his ears and touched his feet, just to get him used to being there. Now he absolutely LOVES going there and they love having him. Best of luck- I'm sure you'll do a great job and probably surprise yourself.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 06:54 PM
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i can promise you that once you are out with the puppy all kinds of people will come talk to you..they will come tell you about their german shepherds..or how they grew up with them..or just the awww what a cute dog can i pet him. im known at my park as the lady that owns Zeus..they dont know my name..but my dogs I still walk my dogs at parks and trails even in the winter

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 07:37 PM
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socializing and training is important throughout the dogs life.
when it's winter you take your pup to a mall, pet store,
invite people to visit, 24 hour stores, invite family, friends
and neighbors to visit, enroll in a puppy class, once in a class
set up play dates with the class members, stand in front of public
places, stores, go to the play ground, etc. there's no excuses
for not training and socializing. you know what has to be done
in order to have a well trained and highly socialized dog. if you
can't do it, well.
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